This holiday season Chanel has launched their classic No. 5 Eau de Parfum ($160 for 3.4 fl oz/ 100 ml) and No. 5 L’Eau ($160 for 3.4 fl oz/ 100 ml) in limited-edition red bottles. Right now Chanel.com has the early exclusive until November 1, 2018. It will be available online and at select boutiques from November 2, 2018 to December 31, 2018. I’ve been a fan of the L’eau version for a light powdery floral. It had been a long time since I tested the original No. 5 Chanel and was thrilled for a chance to try it from Chanel. The bottle is a deep red in the classic glass shape. Depending on how much light hits the bottle you’ll see different intensities of red color and I think it’s just beautiful!
Chanel describes the No. 5 Eau de Parum as an “unprecedented use of aldehydes, which add layers of complexity, N°5 was the world’s first abstract fragrance. The Eau de Parfum draws inspiration from the Parfum, sharing its floral aldehyde signature. This floral bouquet composed around May Rose and Jasmine features bright citrus top notes. Aldehydes create a unique presence while the smooth touch of Bourbon Vanilla leaves an incredibly sensual trail.”
I think most of you are familiar with this scent, it’s a classic! I smell rose, jasmin and a hint of powdery florals mixed in. They list vanilla as one of the notes but I cannot detect it. It’s ultra feminine and has very long lasting power. By comparison the No 5 L’Eau is lighter, brighter and does not last as long, with perfumes it’s something I don’t mind as I love to reapply, I often keep minis on hand with me.
It’s a classic for sure. Floral, feminine and has a soft powdery feel. If you like the L’Eau version better it also comes in the limited-edition red bottle for the holiday season.
The Chanel No 5 and No 5 L’Eau are available exclusively at CHANEL.com from now until November 1, 2018. Available online and at select boutiques from November 2, 2018 to December 31, 2018. Retail price for each is $160 for 3.4 fl oz/ 100 ml. In the post I’m also wearing Le Vernis in Rouge Puissant (reviewed here) and Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme in #116 Extreme (swatched here).
Have you tried this one before? What’s your classic perfume scent? I always love reading about your favorites, let me know in the comments.
I’m thrilled to share that the Diptyque City Candles will be available online at Diptyqueparis.com and in Diptyque boutiques for a limited time starting today 9/27 through Sunday 9/30. There are currently 9 city candles that have been created for Beverly Hills, London, Miami, Tokyo, New York City, Shanghai, Berlin, Paris and Hong Kong. Each candle comes in a beautifully designed jar. Since they are only available to the stores in each corresponding city they’re harder to find and track down, but Diptyque is launching them all online for a limited time. Two new launches this round for online include Hong Kong and Paris. There is also a new Boxed Set of Six City Candles that comes packaged together in a white box.
While these are typically only available in city boutiques (similar to the Le Labo city perfumes), there have been a few times where Diptyque has launched the collection online so I was able to buy the ones I didn’t own from boutique trips, but they sell out very fast! Earlier this year I found a wonderful Paris shopper who travels from the US to Paris frequently for work to purchase a couple of the Paris ones for me. Every single one is amazing and beautiful. The boxes these come in are just as beautiful if not prettier than the actual candle jars themselves.
I have a review for each one today except Berlin. I have the older version which is packaged in a clear glass jar and based on the description I think the tinted design jar is same as the clear one but I haven’t smelled it to confirm.
Quick note for the US city candles and if you’re based in the US. While the candles are only available at each city boutique (Beverly Hills, Miami, NYC) – you can call the store to order and they will ship to you! Every store I’ve ordered from and called is very friendly, patient and helpful.
Beverly Hills was the first city candle I discovered. I reviewed it several years ago when we were still living in San Diego. I am a little embarrassed to admit how many I stocked up on but this was my go-to for a long time. It has lemon, mint, orchid and freesia. It smells like a fresh citrus and the mint is a sweet mint but it’s really subtle.
The description, “With its palm trees and lush gardens, the Beverly Hills candle embodies the aroma of an iconic city. A unique citrus scent blending mint and lemon with a hint of Freesia, the candle exudes a bright and zesty scent. The candle’s colorful design has a psychedelic touch that is native to the west coast and pays homage to the famous Martinique wallpaper, the iconic pattern used in the Beverly Hills Hotel.”
Miami is another one I bought online the first time city candles were offered. I also bought a couple in person at the Diptyque store at Bal Harbour. This is another floral citrus with magnolia, lemon, lime, vanilla. To me it’s similar to Beverly Hills, but Miami is creamier and a little more green while Beverly Hills smells sweeter and more vibrant.
The description, “The scent of the Miami candle offers an exotic aroma of delicate magnolia blossoms enhanced by delicious citrus notes. Reminiscent of the tangy lemon and lime native to the city, the candle suggests hints of vanilla and an homage to its signature tropical atmosphere. Its design pays homage to the city’s iconic Art Deco architecture, lively atmosphere and unique culture.”
New York is inspired by New York City nights. I don’t know that I can attribute a smell to the city, but this candle has a warm patchouli, cedar and vetiver. It smells like fall in a warm cozy leather chair to me. It has a strong masculine vibe with the cedar. The candle doesn’t smell like New York to me but regardless I think it’s a beautiful one.
Description, “New York City candle evokes the spirit of speakeasies and the atmosphere of New York City by night… Like an echo: cedar, vetiver, and patchouli together are heightened by incense, reviving the scent of New York City at its golden age.”
London candle has beautiful floral notes like a garden. The lilac and juniper are what I smell and it has a very soft airy feel to it. I haven’t been to London in over 15 years, I have fond memories and am dying to go back to visit. When I was in college I did a summer study abroad trip to Oxford and went to London frequently. This was a life-changing experience for me not only to see England for the first time, but also because I met a boy who I married nearly 10 years later. I also roomed with a girl who became my long-time bestie even to this day we still keep in touch.
Description, “The scent of the London candle takes you to the heart of the Columbia Road flower market. Its unique notes of heliotrope, lilac, juniper and hyacinth are warmed with a touch of spice. With its floral detailing, the vessel celebrates a traditional bright and refined English wallpaper—paying homage to the pattern of the historic Westbourne Grove diptyque boutique.”
The Paris candle is something I can’t quite describe. It’s described has having chypre accord with aromatic twist of lavender. It smells fresh, light, floral, deep all at the same time. It feels like a little bit of citrus, lavender and cedar all mixed in one. This is in my top picks because of the name Paris. It’s a dream of mine to live there (always dreaming of the croissants and beautiful gardens!).
Description, “The newest addition to the City Candle Collection, the long-awaited Paris candle. Dressed in an ornate vessel that reveals the capital as seen from the sky, the pattern pays homage to the iconic city of light. The scent is marked by a chypre accord that permeates the enigmatic Parisian chic atmosphere.”
Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai
Hong Kong is one of the newest online launches. I haven’t had a chance to burn this one as this is my first time seeing it in person. I love the bold red reflective jar with the design inspired by the high rise buildings in the city. The scent has floral notes that are built around the Bauhinia Blakeana one of their orchid trees. There are also also supposed to be notes of steam rice which usually doesn’t have a scent to me. It’s a creamy floral with a musk feel to me.
Description, “The Hong Kong vessel presents a setting inspired by the citys colorful, graphic, urban density. Ever present is the persistence of nature as it attempts to reassert its power throughout the city. The olfactory tribute to this city is expressed through a floral accord, built around the famous Bauhinia Blakeana, Hong-Kong’s emblem, complemented by comforting steam of rice. Come, discover the newest addition to the city candle collection online or at our Hong Kong boutique.”
Tokyo is one of my favorites because it has a fresh light scent of pine and cedar but doesn’t feel as green as those notes typically are. There’s a hint of hinoki and incense in it with subtle floral feels. This was one I was really excited to be able to buy online.
Description, “The aroma of the Tokyo candle takes you on a stroll amongst the majestic Japanese cypress trees. Notes of pine oil and cedar leaves celebrate majestic branches shading a hidden temple path and diffuses notes of soothing incense. Inspired by the art of the Japanese garden, its design evokes the harmony and serenity of two of Tokyo’s most famous parks, Yoyogi Koen and Shinjuku Gyoen.”
Shanghai smells like a sweet flower mixed with green tea. It almost smells sweet like a dessert I’d want to eat.
Description, “The scent of the Shanghai candle is closely linked to a Chinese tradition. Deliciously perfumed osmanthus flowers complemented with notes of green tea and maté to reveal the aroma of a freshly brewed cup of tea. The candle’s design is an ode to the beauty of Huxinting, Shanghai’s oldest tea house. The vessel’s deep red shade, blue porcelain and gold are an ancient symbol of good luck.”
City Candles Box Set 2018 Edition
The amazing 6-piece box set with Beverly Hills, London, Paris, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai. It retails at $432 and while you don’t get a price break compared to buying individually but I can’t think of a more amazing gift that this would make having them in a beautiful white box.
The only one I’m missing is Berlin but as mentioned at the top of the post I have the original glass jar version and while I’m almost 100% sure the colored green and yellow jar they have right now is the same, I haven’t smelled it to confirm.
Going through all the descriptions again has me itching to travel overseas. I have such good memories of travels to Europe and I have only been to one country in Asia before but have so much on my travel wishlist. I love these city-inspired candles and as a Diptyque lover it’s fun to have something a little rarer and harder to find.
The Diptyque City Candles retail for $72 each and the Boxed Set of Six retails at $432. Available online at Diptyqueparis.com for a limited time through 9/30, in limited quantities. Also available in the free-standing Diptyque boutiques.
Have you tried any of these before or visited any of the Diptyque stores in these cities? If I’m traveling to a place with a Diptyque boutique it’s always a MUST that I stop inside one. They’re beautifully designed and the staff is always so knowledgeable and friendly.
Huge thanks to Diptyque for sending me all the candles for this feature. Being the Diptyque fan that I am I had already purchased all the scents on previous occasions except for Hong Kong. I’m the happiest person on earth to be stocked up on these scents from a brand that I’ve adored for many years.
It feels like we skipped spring this year and went straight to summer here in Florida! Today I have a roundup of spring to summer fragrances that are light and fresh. I’ve been thrilled to find that so many of you are die hard fans of Tom Ford Soleil Blanc and Creed Love in White like me. This year both brands have launched new variations of the classics! I know fragrance is so personal so I’d love to hear about your go-to’s. If you’re looking for something new but don’t know where to start I hope this list will give you some ideas of where to start exploring!
Creed Love In White for Summer ($335 for 75 ml) is a new variation of their classic Love In White. The original is a crisp white floral with a powdery feel. The new version at first spritz smells almost identical but if you let it sit you’ll notice a softer vibe with a fruity touch. They both have that distinct white floral feel, but the new one is really beautiful! Right now Love in White for Summer is only available in the 75 ml form. I have purchased a few of their Leather Atomizers for travel or my purse. My husband also has a couple for his favorite which is Aventus for Men.
Top Notes: Bulgarian roses, Calabrian bergamot, sweet magnolia
Louis Vuitton Apogee ($240 for 3.4 ml) is one of the soft earthy florals from Louis Vuitton. To me I notice the magnolia and jasmine notes the most. It’s a natural and earthy kind of floral. One thing I learned at the stores is once you buy the full size bottle you can get them refilled in store for a much lower price than repurchasing another full size bottle. These come in beautiful glass jars. If you cannot decide on one they have a lovely Miniatures Set which contains seven 10 ml bottles.
Notes: Lily-of-the-valley accord, Jasmine from Grasse, Magnolia from China, Gaiac wood, Sandalwood essence
Byredo La Tulipe ($165 for 50 ml) is another pretty clean floral. It has extremely strong lasting power – even though my nose gets used to it within a few hours, people who walk by notice it many hours later. To me it smells almost like fresh linen + white flowers combined. I also have this in the Hand Cream and Hair Perfume just for fun. In the event you want smaller options, it is available in the La Selection Florale Trio (12 ml vials). Alternatively on the Byredo Website you can order their Discovery Set (they limit 1 per person) and it comes with a voucher that you can use at Byredo Stores on Byredo.com.
Top Notes: rhubarb, cyclamen, freesia
Base: blonde woods, vetiver
Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt ($135 for 3.4 oz) is one of the best earthy sea salt scents I’ve tried that is so unique. It’s a great light everyday kind of scent one can wear year round, but it’s not a floral or citrus. It seems like most scents that are light need to be either floral or citrus or beachy. This one is none of the above yet it’s not spicy or heavy. I attribute the hint of bergamot to this fact. It’s one I can wear alone but I received the best tip from one of my favorite Jo Malone associates in San Diego to layer this with Wild Blue Bell. The Wood Sage and Sea Salt notes:
Top: bergamot, ambrette seeds, buchu leaves
Middle: sea salt, mineral accord, dry fruits
Base: driftwood accord, guaiac wood, white musk, sage
Diptyque Eau de Sens ($95 for 1.7 oz, also now available in a Solid Soap, Cleansing Hand and Body Gel and Hair Mist) is my all time favorite orange blossom. It’s not too citrus and it’s not too floral or powdery. It’s the perfect mix to be orange and floral. Lasting power is not as strong as Tom Ford or Creed on me but I don’t mind reapplying after a few hours as it fades nicely. I have the Hair Mist on my wishlist which I hope to pick up soon.
Top Notes: bitter orange, juniper berry.
Middle Notes: orange blossom
Base Notes: angelica, patchouli
Chanel L’Eau No 5 All Over Body Spray ($60 for 150 ml/5 fl oz) is a lighter variation of the L’Eau No. 5 reviewed here. I actually prefer the body spray version because it’s softer and not quite as crisp. It also comes in a Hand Cream option which smells completely different to me but is still lovely.
Notes: Lemon, Mandarin and Orange, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Cedar and Musk
Molton Brown Orange and Bergamot Radiant Body Oil ($49 for 100 ml/3.3 fl oz) is such a beautiful dry oil. As you might guess from this roundup I’m obsessed with anything that has bergamot in it! This one is a fresh one that has a blend of orange, bergamot and mandarin. It’s very bright and refreshing. The oil absorbs nicely into the skin and gives the body a luminous glow. Scent is very strong for a body oil, I can wear this alone instead of the perfume version. You can find this in other body products in their entire Orange and Bergamot collection.
Top Notes: orange, bergamot and mandarin
Heart Notes: neroli, cardamom and galbanum
Base Notes: musk, ylang-ylang and cedarwood
Tom Ford Eau de Soleil Blanc ($122 for 1.7 oz) is new this spring. It’s one of my favorites of the season and I did not think it could get better than the original. It’s really close to the original version but this one is lighter in feel and not quite as rich or deep. It’s more green and a tiny bit more citrus with a brighter feel. I do not think you need both if you are already well stocked on one. I used up my original so decided to buy this one and I’m 100% happy I did.
Notes: Vert de Bergamot, Orange Bitter, Petitgrain Bigarde, Ylang-Ylang, Pistachio Accord, Coco de Mer Accord
Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Oil ($74 for 8.4 fl oz/250 ml) is my favorite scented body oil. I wish it came with a spritzer but it’s so good I can overlook the packaging. It does come in a Dry Oil Spray Version which I personally did not like very much. For some reason the regular Body Oil works much better for my skin and smells better too.
Byredo Mojave Ghost ($165 for 1.7 fl oz) is one of the most unique scents I’ve tried. To me it smells a little fruity and floral with noticeable violet and magnolia notes. There’s a tiny hint of musk and sandalwood with amber to round it out and prevent it from being a full on floral. Lasting power on me is excellent.
Top Notes: ambrette, Jamaican nesberry
Middle Notes: violet, sandalwood, magnolia
Base Notes: chantilly musk, crisp amber, cedarwood
Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino ($230 for 1.7 oz/50 ml, also available in the All Over Body Spray which I’ve tried and loved) is a twist on their classic Neroli Portofino. They have several spinoffs of the classic and to me this one is the best because it mixes in floral making it softer, more feminine and well rounded. It smells like the spring to summer transition with crisp citrus and fresh floral notes.
Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is another classic that I’ve used up in the full size. The one shown is from a limited-edition Travel Atomizer which has just launched at Nordstrom! So many of you have said this scent is THE ONE for you. I think it’s a classic sunshine vacation scent in a bottle!
Notes: Bergamot, Cardamom Oil Orpur, Pistachio Accord, Ylang Ylang Comores Islands, Benzoin Extract Orpur, Coco De Mer Accord
My top 3: Creed Love in White for Summer, Byredo Mojave Ghost and Tom Ford Eau de Soleil Blanc.
I know perfume is one of those beauty products that is best to shop for in person. I’ve ordered a few blind simply because I did not have a counter near me and it has been both hit or miss. After a couple misses I decided to never do it again. These days I’ve found more and more brands have started to sell sample vials or discovery sets on their websites. You may have to do a bit of searching to find them. Many larger retailers offer samples with beauty purchases, I almost always add one to my cart from Nordstrom. Lucky Scent also sells samples and sample packs of fragrances of their entire store. If you are ever in the Los Angeles area I highly recommend you stop by their store. You can read more in a feature I did here. In some cases you might not find any sample section online even on specific brand websites. I’ve also had luck a couple times e-mailing customer service to see if I could buy or order samples and in two instances they did!
That wraps up my spring to summer perfume favorites. I know it’s quite a lot and some of you stick to 1 or 2 scents but I also know women who rotate on a seasonal basis and like to switch things up like me. As always please share your personal favorites in the comments! I love reading about what you love and wear.
Press samples featured include items from Creed, Molton Brown and Louis Vuitton.
Chanel has quite a few new launches this spring and today I’m thrilled to give you a peek at the new Rouge Coco Lip Blush along with some other picks for Valentine’s Day in fragrance, nails and lips. Right now it appears most of these are exclusive to Chanel.com, I suspect they will trickle into stores and counters soon.
First is a selection of options in the scent Chance Eau Tendre. This is a bright fruity floral that has grapefruit, green notes and quince mixed with jasmine and a bit of mush. It’s very spring-like and romantic. If you like this scent in the Eau de Toilette form you can now wear it in a number of ways including the Body Oil Spray (lovely lightweight feel with excellent packaging), Moisturizing Body Cream (luxurious smooth and cooling on the skin) and Hair Mist. My favorite is the Hair Mist because it has enough throw but is still soft enough that it’s not overpowering. The entire line smells like spring.
The Rouge Coco Lip Blush is a unique lightweight gel product for lips and cheeks. The colors are vibrant and bold in the tube but once you blend the color sheers out quite a bit for a soft tint. On the lips I can layer easily for more color – it’s not something you have to pack on to get to show up. On the cheeks however the gel is quite sheer and a tiny bit dewy for a very natural youthful glow perfect for spring. There’s no detectable scent and these come with a soft double sided sponge applicator.
On the lips I apply directly with the sponge. On the cheeks I make three to four dabs of color and then blend with the fingers. I was initially worried that my foundation and powder would get the sponge dirty but as long as you dab lightly there’s no issue. Also these work really well over foundation and powder. As long as your base isn’t super matte and super heavy you can layer on top and blend without it looking like you caked on product on your face.
The six colors include:
410 Corail Naturel sheer medium peach pink
412 Orange Explosif bright orange
414 Tender Rose sheer medium warm pink
416 Teasing Pink bright sheer cool pink
418 Rouge Captivant bold classic red
420 Burning Berry deep brown plum
To me, Corail Naturel and Tender Rose look almost identical on me. The difference is very slight with Tender Rose having just a bit more pink. Those two are also the sheerest. Swatched below blended versus layered to show how much the color sheers out:
Everything is swatched on bare lips, nothing else is ever added unless I list it in the descriptions above. Corresponding color is also on the cheeks blended except for 414 Tender Rose which you can see dabbed on one cheek and blended on the other.
Overall lasting power is medium, on the cheeks they stay put for a few hours but due to the dewy nature they can get a tiny bit shiny looking. On the lips these feel like a weightless gel. Lasting power is good for a few hours and the deeper shades leave a tiny bit of a stain. The lighter shades fade on me fairly fast. Overall thoughts are that these are true to Chanel’s style of the simple classic kind of beauty. I wish the neutrals had a bit more pigment because the colors are PERFECT! They do make for a very nice barely there polished look though. My favorite out of the entire bunch is Teasing Pink. It’s a sheer hot pink, the sheerness makes it wearable for me.
Last but not least are two classics, they aren’t new, but the Chanel Le Vernis in Shantung is a classic red perfect for Valentine’s Day, but really wearable for year round. Rouge Allure Velvet in Rouge Feu is a classic warm bright red fr the lips if you’re looking for something bold.
Bottom line lots to love for me. The weather is warming up here which makes me feel ready to break out the spring scents. Chance Eau Tendre to me is a perfect warm weather fragrance that’s feminine and light but not too strong. For the Rouge Coco Lip Blush I really like the colors as I think they’re going to be flattering on a number of skintones and would have bought them even if I didn’t receive them as press samples. I’m still trying to get used to the formula as I’m normally not really into gel products but I like that they give a very fresh faced look. Given the lightweight practically weightless feel I know I’m going to appreciate it a lot more once the weather warms up and humidity rises.
You can find the Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Blush, Chance Eau Tendre, Shantung and Rouge Feu all on Chanel.com. For a limited time they’re offering complimentary overnight shipping on all US orders placed by Tuesday February 13 at 2 PM, I do believe anything with nail products have to ship ground though.
Have you tried the Rouge Coco Lip Blush yet? If yes what did you think?
Doing a little his and hers shelfie today rounding up our fragrance favorites of the year. Looking back on my archives I haven’t done a scent roundup since early spring but quite a few have been on repeat for months. I used up several bottles year including Tom Ford Sole di Positano, Soleil Blanc, Creed Virgin Island Water and the Replica Glow Filter. Andrew has gone through several bottles of Creed Aventus and Chanel Bleu de Chanel. More details on our favorites below.
Best Colognes of the Year for Him
Andrew’s favorites: Andrew is probably like most men where he has 2-3 main go-to colognes depending on occasion. Ideally he wants a minimal and well edited grooming routine where he finds something he loves and sticks with it. This year he discovered Creed when I brought him back a couple mini vial samples from the Creed New York Boutique. He fell in love with Aventus and we both wondered why we had not discovered this sooner. If he had to pick one scent for the rest of his life it would be this one.
Creed Leather Atomizer Small ($175, holds 10 ml) is something Andrew asked me to buy him after he saw my small turquoise one (shown here). He likes to have something he can carry with him when we travel. We found one in Black and Silver at a local Neiman Marcus and he’s obsessed with it. It’s small, sturdy and easy to fit in a dopp kit without taking up a lot of space.
Creed Aventus ($375 for 75 ml) is the ultimate scent for men. It has a fresh but masculine mix that is suitable year round for any occasion. Both of us agree this is what a great fragrance smells like. Much to my wallet’s dismay he’s used up several bottles, but the Creed team kindly sent one for the holiday with their Engraved Medallion which they’re offering with any 75 ml bottle purchase on their website. (The engraving option is available on each fragrance page.) You can pick up to 3 letters that they’ll engrave on the back.
Aventus notes include Bergamot, blackcurrant leaves, apple, pineapple, pinkberries, birch, patchouli, jasmine, musk, oakmoss, ambergris and vanilla
Quick peek at the new Boutique in Miami here and here, their New York Boutique featured here
Dior Sauvage Eau de Toilette ($74 to $145) has been on Andrew’s list since it launched. Since discovering Creed the Dior has moved down on his favorites, but it’s a great everyday scent that isn’t overpowering and light. His brother came over once and the two of them were going through his skincare and grooming routine. He smelled this and really liked it and asked us to buy him one for Christmas. They are complete opposites so I’d say the Dior is a good safe option that I think will appeal to most men.
Sauvage notes include Reggio Bergamot, Sichuan Pepper, Ambroxan
Chanel Bleu de Chanel Eau de Parfum Set ($154) Andrew has tried pretty much all the Chanel men’s colognes and eau de toilettes and the Bleu de Chanel is his favorite. He actually prefers buying it in the Travel Spray atomizer because it’s easier to carry in places like his briefcase. I like that you can buy the refills separately as well on Chanel.com. He’s tried both the Parfum and Eau de Toilette versions. He prefers the Eau de Toilette because it has a more fresh and modern vibe but both are really good.
Bleu de Chanel Notes – I can’t find the exact list, but this is a woody citrus that’s clean but masculine
Molton Brown Russian Leather Eau de Toilette ($65 for 1.7 fl oz) was a new Molton Brown launch this year. It’s clearly masculine and does indeed have a rich leather vibe to it. It has a classic smoky but slightly modern feel to it. It’s different from the fresh scents Andrew gravitates towards. Lasting power on him is really good with this one. It’s not as universal as the other ones listed above, you will either love or hate it. We both love it.
Russian Leather notes include Elemi, Black tea, Purple Basil, Siberian Pine, Tobacco, Birch, Vetiver, Leather and Cade
My favorites this year have been from Tom Ford and Creed. I feel like I’ve lived in Sole di Positano, Soleil Blanc and Virgin Island Water (used up and not shown). Of course as usual my list is more extensive. I cannot stick to one perfume just like I cannot have just one or two nude lipsticks. I’m a true beauty junkie. I normally have liked scents with sandalwood or some kind of amber, but based on my list below it appears I’m really one who loves bergamot and scents that are more citrus based with some florals mixed in.
Byredo Hair Mist in Bal D’Afrique and Mojave Ghost ($62 each for 75 ml) are two I debated on for months and finally splurged. I love both as Bal D’Afrique is sweeter and Mojave Ghost is lighter and brighter. I already own the Bal D’Afrique perfume and love it. I’ve used up four mini vials of the Mojave Ghost and should just buy the full size perfume already. The hair mist has decent lasting power, even in Florida heat. It has a nice mist dispenser which sprays it evenly over the hair.
Notes for Bal D’Afrique include African Marigold, Bergamot, Bucchu, Lemon, Neroli, Cyclamen, Jasmin Petals, violet, Black Amber, Moroccan Cedarwood, Musk and Vetiver
Notes for Mojave Ghost include Ambrette, magnolia, sandalwood, violet, cedarwood, chantilly musk, crisp amber
Tom Ford Sole di Positano ($230 for 50 ml) was reviewed here in this post, one of the best bergamot scents I’ve tried! Used it up entirely and it’s on my wishlist to repurchase once I work my way down through other ones
Notes include Italian bergamot, petitgrain bigarade, lemon, mandarin leaves, shiso leaf
Tom Ford Soleil Blanc ($230 for 50 ml) probably my favorite scent ever, best white floral that smells like spring and summer and sunshine
Notes include bergamot, cardamom oil Orpur, pistachio accord, ylang ylang, benzoin extract Orpur, coco de mer accord
Creed Leather Atomizer ($175) makes for such a beautiful gift – it comes with a funnel to make it easy to pour inside, these come in multiple colors, I have the aqua one and this silver one is so pretty for holiday!
Creed Love in White ($350 for 75 ml) is one of the scents most of you have recommended to me, I finally tried it and fell in love. The Creed sent one for holiday feature – this too comes with a complimentary engraved gold medallion for any 75 ml bottle or larger. This is such a beautiful feminine fresh scent, I will be wearing it for months to follow and probably will do so for years!
Notes include orange zest, Florentine iris, daffodils, magnolia, Bulgarian rose, Tonkin rice, vanilla, ambergris and Mysore sandalwood
Creed Virgin Island Water ($290 for 50 ml) not shown because I’ve used mine up, this is the ultimate vacation scent. Living in Florida it feels like I’m living in a permanent vacay state of mine with the weather so it’s fitting to wear it any time of year!
Notes include Sicilian white bergamot, Jamaican lime, Sicilian mandarin, hibiscus, ylang-ylang, Indian jasmine, Tonkin musk and tropical wood
Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt ($135 for 3.4 oz) is my favorite layering cologne. It’s one I can definitely wear alone to but it layers so nicely with other scents like Wild Bluebell and pretty much anything else. This is my year-round scent that I can wear no matter what the weather is like.
Notes include Bergamot, ambrette seeds, buchu leaves, sea salt, mineral accord, dry fruits, driftwood accord, guaiac wood, white musk, sage.
Atelier Cologne Coffret Collection ($275 customizable set) I discovered Atelier Cologne this fall in San Francisco. We passed by a boutique and I had such an amazing experience there. I bought a small travel spray of Bois Blonds and used it up within weeks. The store sent us home with tiny vial samples of a few others we liked and you can actually buy the Sampler Set for $35on their website which is genius! All fragrance brands should do something like this. I’ve since bought a few boxed sets from Sephora and also already used up an Orange Sanguine. On Atelier Cologne’s website you can make your own boxed sets. I ordered one and am so excited! A few thoughts on each one:
Oolang Infini is one of the best calming scents with bergamot, neroli and freesia
Vanilla Insensee is one of two vanilla scents I’ve been able to wear, the vast majority of vanilla based scents are too sweet and too rich for me to wear, this one has coriander, jasmine and vetiver mixed in
Bois Blonds is a beautiful peppery wood scent with neroli and bergamot
Also found at Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom if you have one near by to smell them in person (although they don’t have all the size options in stores, you’ll have to shop them online)
L’Artisan Mure et Musc ($96 for 1.7 oz) is the best berry scent I’ve tried. This brand unfortunately has become increasingly more difficult for me to find as I can only find it online at Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue (no stores near me). This is a classic I think everyone should try, it has the most beautiful mix of berry and musk without being too sweet.
Notes include lemon, orange, basil, lavendar, blackberry, jasmine, musks, patchouli and oakmoss
Replica Glow Filter ($55 for 1.7 oz) was initially reviewed here a while ago, this is a perfumed oil spray which can also be used as a primer for other fragrances. I like to wear it alone all over because it’s an oil I like it as a body moisturizer. I’ve since used up an entire bottle (this one is my second) and it smells like fresh clean warm skin to me.
Maison Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis Hair Mist ($65 for 70 ml) is an alcohol-free hair mist which is a light airy scent. It has a linen feel to it with the freshness, it has a combination of lily of the valley, mock orange, bergamot, lemon, and musky wood. Makes me feel like I’m walking on a cloud!
I hope you enjoyed our favorites roundup! As always let me know what your favorite scents were this year. I live to read about what other people wear. There are so many perfumes on the market it’s just overwhelming to decide where to look or what to try. I loved that dozens of you have commented and e-mailed me to recommend Creed Love in White.
Fragrance Favorites of the Year
If Andrew had to pick one favorite, you can guess it would be Creed Aventus hands down. If I had to pick one I would not be able to. But if I had to pick three I could narrow it down to Tom Ford Sole di Positano, Tom Ford Soleil Blanc and Creed Love in White. If I could add two more the next ones to follow would be Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini and Byredo Mojave Ghost.
Did you discover anything new in perfume this year? Or do you stick to your tried and true? Do you use hair perfume? Let me know which ones you’ve tried and love! I’ll be rounding up my favorites of the year in a few other categories in upcoming posts so stay tuned! Also working on review of the new NARS foundation, Tom Ford Eyeshadow Singles and Matte Lipsticks from Laura Mercier. Trying to get everything swatched and tested before the end of the year.
I’m doing another giveaway! I’ll pick one person and send them 3 Byredo Hair Perfumes of their choice. Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to qualify. Simply enter through the widget below. Terms and conditions in the widget. Giveaway will run through 12/23 – I’ll pick a winner within 48 hours after it ends and e-mail them. Winner must respond within 48 hours or another person will be picked in their place. Not affiliated or sponsored.
I’m a die hard lover of home scents and good candles. They help change the mood of a room and during the holiday there are all kinds of great seasonal options to make the house smell like Christmas. I’ve rounded a few picks of what I think are the best holiday candles and gifts for the home. If you have any favorites you like to burn during the holiday season let me know in the comments below!
The holiday season would not be complete for me without Diptyque. I’ve bought the seasonal pine scent each year and this is the first year I’ve felt their pine is a bit different with a minty green touch to the scent. They have three seasonal candles with colored wax, a black jar in a cosmic theme with gold magical creatures on the exterior. It’s really just so beautiful! I bought the Cosmic Seasonal Candle Trio ($105 to $210). You can also find these individually although the orange one has pretty much sold out everywhere. Unicorn Frosted Forest Scented Candle is fir with a hint of mint and hinoki, Feu d’Argumes/Fiery Orange Dragon is a warm smoky orange clove and Larmes d’Encens/Incense Tears Phoenix with incense, cinnamon and myrrh. All three are phenomenal this year.
There is also the 10 piece Mini Candle Collection ($150) which makes for the ultimate luxury home gift. It’s the best way to sample a lot of Diptyque in a more affordable way than buying each one individually. Burn time is quick on these but it’s long enough to get a good sense of what they smell like when burned.
Antica Farmacista has some of the most elegant holiday sets. I just discovered them last year and love their diffusers. After writing about them last holiday I discovered that many of you have loved this line for years! Their Silver Cedar is a holiday release this year and it has everything I love for holidays: cypress, sandalwood, spruce and juniper in the most elegant combination ever. They’ve also brought back the Champagne Black Label which is the best sparkling sweet champagne scent I’ve ever tried. I have used this in the candle, room spray and diffuser and love it. All of their gift options here. You can find products directly from their website Antica Farmacista and also at Nordstrom. Shown below is the 100 ml Diffuser Trio ($64) with Silver Cedar, Champagne Black Label and Sandalwood Amber and their Candle Set with Silver Cedar, Champagne Black Label ($98) and a gorgeous wick trimmer. The diffusers are perfect for the guest bathrooms! They come beautifully boxed.
This year they also launched a gorgeous 12 Days of Antica Calendar ($175) with deluxe sized minis of their candles, diffusers, body products and a wick trimmer as well. I can’t think of a better luxury home gift than this set.
Molton Brown is also another favorite line. My favorite scent for any time of year is the Coco and Sandalwood 3 Wick Candle and Home and Linen Mist, but for the holiday they always have fun limited-edition launches. I was able to try the Vintage With Elderflower Candle and it’s such a lovely sweet holiday scent. It has grapefruit, mandarin, elderflower, petigrain, coriander, vetiver and ambergris. If you like something on the sweet side but not candy sweet this is a beautiful sweet citrus option. I’ve been burning it for the past few hours as I’ve been putting this post together and it’s definitely lifted my mood with a bit of energy. Other holiday scent options on their website as well including Fabled Juniper Berries and Lapp Pine along with their classic Festive Frankincense and Allspice.
That wraps up this year’s holiday gift guide for the best candles I’ve found. There are tons of great options and individual options from so many brands. I find that my top three brands year over year are Diptyque and Molton Brown, and Antica Farmacista has been added to the mix. If you’re looking for more affordable holiday options that still have amazing throw with a luxury vibe, Nest is a great line to check out. I also really like the Henri Bendel candles as well. One that isn’t new is Cire Trudon Ernesto which is probably the best luxury scent for the home, my husband smelled it for the first time right when we moved to Florida and said “that’s what we should burn all the time.” It really is phenomenal and I need to repurchase it at some point soon. There are a number of new ones out for holiday which I was really tempted to order, but given the price and the fact that I’m not that familiar with the entire line, I feel like they are something I need to smell first before buying – especially since part of me thinks it might not get better than Ernesto. I usually include something from Jo Malone and I do think their Pine and Eucalyptus Candle is a classic. This year they have a gorgeous one with a green label for holiday. I was debating whether or not to buy it (I usually do every year) but with the Florida sunshine combined with our travels this month I wasn’t sure I would have time to burn it before Christmas and I usually feel pine is best done in November/December. I skipped it this year.
What are your favorite holiday scents to burn? Other gift guides below:
Last fall Christian Louboutin launched three perfumes in Tornade Blonde, Bikini Questa Sera and Trouble in Heaven. I was able to review Tornade Blonde here. This has been one of the most luxurious perfumes with the strongest lasting power that I’ve tried. Those who have followed me along on with my what’s in my bag features and Instagram stories know that I tend to prefer smaller sizes so I can carry them with me to touch up or bring them on travels. The original sizes were 2.7 oz/80 ml ($275 each) which came in a large exquisite bottle perfect for display or to but on your counter top but not one that you could carry around easily. One year later they’ve added a new smaller size 1 oz/30 ml ($135 each) and while they aren’t roller-ball small, they are more travel friendly. The perfumes are available individually but I was gifted all three in a special box and am beyond grateful for the opportunity to try all three.
Tornade Blonde is a rich warm floral with some spice to it. It’s the one that feels more for special occasions for me. Notes include Rhubarb, Violet Leaves, Ambrette Signature, Cassis, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmin Sambac Absolut, Orange Flower Petals Firnat, Gardenia from Brazil, Ambregris, Cedarwood, Australian Sandalwood, Patchouli. It’s extremely potent with a rich garden-like feel to it.
Bikini Questa Sera is my favorite of the three. It’s the most green out of the options with notes of Paradisone, Green Nectars, Jasmin Absolut, Tuberose Absolut, Australian Sandalwood, Vetiver Haiti, Ambregris. As one who really loves tuberose it’s no surprise that this one I’d gravitate towards. If you like Frederic Malle Carnal Flower but want something with a different twist you might want to consider trying this one. The Louboutin Bikini Questa Sera has a similar vibe but it’s less powdery and less floral than Carnal Flower.
Trouble in Heaven is another rich option with notes of Bergamot, Cascalone, Rose Bouton, Iris Firabs, Amber, Patchouli, Tonka Absolut, Labdanum. There’s a strong amber and patchouli feel making this feel very warm and very spicy. To me it smells feminine but pulls on the masculine side a little – it’s an intoxicating seductive kind of scent that doesn’t feel like one for everyday but more for date nights.
All three have extremely long lasting power. They stayed on my skin from the first spritz until late evening. As scent and fragrance preferences are really so personal my recommendation would depend on your preferences for notes and overall feel. These are true to Louboutin’s branding – rich, warm and bold. For everyday I personally tend to gravitate towards lighter scent options. With the extreme heat of Florida I’ve found that since moving here I cannot wear warmer scents and many of my florals during the day simply because the heat shifts how these wear on my skin. It has finally started to cool down a little (only a little) so I’ve been able to pull out a few fall transition scents. For me these Louboutin perfumes are more special occasion kinds of wear. Back in San Diego by now I would have 100% been able to wear at least one of these for day, but for now in Florida I find Bikini Questa Sera to be best for me while the other two will be saved for winter.
If you’re interested in these but don’t want to splurge on the full sizes quite yet they still have the adorable miniatures trio set available (they don’t come with spritzers though). These are a great way to try all three or keep one in your purse for touch ups.